Depreciating Cedi Affecting Cost of Heart Surgeries – Minister Nii Okai

The Founder of the Saving Hearts Foundation and a gospel musician, Minister Nii Okai has expressed worry about the falling value of the Ghana cedi against the dollar, a factor which is making the already high cost of conducting heart surgeries more expensive.

According to him, the situation has become a big challenge to his foundation which has so far spent $60,000 (USD) to perform ten successful heart surgeries.

The Foundation has set a target to do 40 surgeries for children with heart challenges this year.

Speaking to Ultimate News’ Ivan Heathcote – Fumador, the Moko Be hit singer lamented that the dollar denominated surgeries continues to suffer the shocks of the exchange rate, swallowing contributions made by well meaning Ghanaians towards the support of the children with hole in heart conditions.

“When the currency begun devaluing against the dollar, we had to sometimes raise three times as much as we were suppose to raise initially to get one surgery to go through. We have to cough up $6,000 (USD) for the basic surgery that is done in Ghana,” he pointed out.

He suggested that aside government working hard to shore up the value of the cedi on the forex market, some consideration must be made for the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to begin supporting aspects of the surgery to bring some relief to patients.

His comments come as the world lined up a series of activities to mark the World Heart Day which fell on Saturday September 29, 2018.

By: Ghana/ Heathcote-Fumador